Apple just announced it’s profits for the last quarter and they are higher than any other company has ever reported. Higher than the largest international banks. Higher than the most successful oil and gas companies. Higher than most country’s GDP.
When Steve Jobs died and Tim Cook took over, most thought that Apple was doomed. How would they fare without their charismatic leader? Well, I’d say they are doing just fine. Cook doesn’t have the flair for the dramatic that Jobs has. He doesn’t have the angry episodes that used to drive employees crazy. But what he does have is a fierce ability to get things done.
When you look at some of the most successful companies right now, or ones that have been turned around, it’s because the leader has an intense focus on execution. On getting the important things done and done well. On ensuring that employees know their role in achieving the best result. On measuring success in a disciplined way. On deliberately focusing on the organization’s strengths.
Is it possible that the best decision Steve Jobs ever made was hiring Tim Cook?
I gave advice for Inc. magazine on how process improvements can lead to increased profitability.
Here is my latest article for IndustryWeek magazine on why strategy is useless without execution.
A recent article in the Globe and Mail discussed how some hotel chains are beginning to use apps and kiosks to check guests in, so those guests can bypass the front desk.
Here are some musings on that idea:
- Airlines are already doing this by allowing passengers to check-in online the day before their flight and use electronic boarding passes, so the technology already exists. The unknown factor is whether guests want to bypass the front desk.
- Disney Hotels uses floating staff with iPads to check guests in, thus providing a person to speak with, but avoiding check in lines. They actually check you in while you are unloading your baggage so there is virtually no waiting from the time you arrive at the hotel to the time you have your key.
- Hotels want to be careful about how hard they push this idea out to customers as checking in at the front desk provides them an opportunity to engage with their guests. If they lose that opportunity, they will need to find a different way of engaging. Maybe a quick phone call or visit 30 minutes after the guest arrives.
- Offering a choice lets the guest decide, so it doesn’t mean removing the front desk altogether.
- The online check-in or kiosk would seem to be attractive to business travelers or guests arriving late who just want to get to their room and don’t need the live interaction when they check-in.
- Like any other technology option, success will be in how it is rolled out and executed, not the technology itself.
For any initiative that you are embarking upon, here is a simple process to help make you successful:
- Identify the key stakeholders – those most impacted by the initiative.
- Engage those stakeholders and show them the value of the initiative – show them why it’s in their interests to support it. I call this the “What’s in it for me?” principle.
- Develop a plan for implementing the initiative – what tactics are required to make it happen and who will be accountable for success?
- Determine the right metrics for success – what will success looks like?
- Execute on the plan and review the success measures.
As you can see, the formula for implementing a new initiative is not that complicated. Are you using a process that is more complex than it needs to be?
Andrew explains what the sweet spot in organizations is and what components need to be in place to achieve it.
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